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Rubber Stamps 


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Rubber Stamps 

Written By: Gareth Branwyn 


Eraser (1) 

Art gum eraser (one for each stamp you make), 

Transfer paper (1) 

or carbon paper or a graphite pencil. 

X-Acto knifed) 

Pencil and pen (1) 

Stamp pad (1) 


Rubber stamps are wonderful and can be used in all sorts of craft projects, but they can also 
be expensive, and you're limited to whatever images are available. No worries. You can 
easily make your own stamps with materials you probably already have around the house. 

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Rubber Stamps 

• Draw an image, making it iconographic and bold. Size it to fit the eraser. When you're 
pleased with the design, make a mirror image of it. To do this, tape the image against a 
window during daylight (or use a light table if handy) and trace it on the other side of the 

• The image in this project was designed by my then-teenaged son, Blake. When he 
was little, we made stamps too. He'd draw the designs and I'd make the stamps. In 
the second image, the two creatures to the left were done by him. I did the shark. We used 
these for years, on cards, wrapping paper, and just for fun. 

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Rubber Stamps 

• Transfer the image onto the eraser 
using a transfer medium (if you are 
using graphite, rub inverse before 
tracing). Tape the image (and 
transfer medium, if used) to the 
sides of the eraser to hold firmly in 
place. Once the image is 
transferred, go over it with ink to 
make it sharper. 

• We tried using special craft 
store transfer paper (shown 
in Step 1), but the image was too 
faint. We ended up tracing the 
design onto vellum paper by using 
a window as a "light box." And then 
we used a pencil to run graphite 
onto the inverse side of the image, 
and then taped it to the eraser and 
followed the outlines of the image 
(as seen in the image). This 
transfer went well. 

• When the image is transferred, go 
over it with a felt-tip or India-ink 
pen to get a clear line to cut to. 

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Rubber Stamps 

• Carefully cut away the eraser from 
around the image. Work on small 
sections at a time. Try to keep the 
depth of cuts about the same. 
Inspect the stamp to make sure all 
excess material has been 
removed. If you become impatient, 
take a break. Don't rush! 

• TIP: Crosshatch or mark all 
areas to carve away so that 
you don't get confused and cut 
something you weren't supposed 

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Rubber Stamps 

• When you're finished carving, test 
the stamp. Shal lowly carved areas 
may mess up the impression, or 
the image may not look right. You 
may want to add details or make 

• Once it's perfected, stamp the new 
image onto self-adhesive label 
paper and affix to the top of the 
eraser to show the stamp's image 
and to properly orient and align the 
image when stamping. 

• That's it! Now you have a little 
replicable piece of art you can use 
to decorate greeting cards, letters, 
postcards, wrapping paper ... you 
name it. 

This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 02 , page 21 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-01 07:15:01 PM. 

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